MURRAY, Ky. — On March 2, after months of preparation, 13 undergraduate students represented Murray State University at the Capitol building in Frankfort, Ky. as participants in the 16th annual Posters-at-the-Capitol.
The one-day conference gave qualifying undergraduate students from every publicly funded Kentucky university the opportunity to showcase faculty mentored research posters before legislators as well as students and faculty of other schools.
Leaders involved in higher education policy and administration throughout the state began the event with opening remarks, welcoming faculty members and student participants.
The day brought presentations from a plethora of research topics, including science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as psychology, history and economics.
Jamie Staengel, a senior participant and economics major, said the event is an opportunity to receive feedback and learn about areas to expand on and the potential impact her research could have.
Staengel provided research on organic farming. She explained that near the end of the event, a viewer complimented her poster, describing his experience with owning an organic farm.
“It was an amazing interaction to meet someone who had gone through the experience I am investigating from an economic standpoint on a personal level,” said Staengel. “I could not have gotten this insight without being at Posters-at-the-Capitol.”
The student, along with other economics students, were also able to have lunch with state economists and learn about their careers as well as receive feedback and insight from them regarding their research.
“This event is so important because it gives students an opportunity to gain confidence across numerous fields — in their ability to conduct rigorous research, in their ability to present publicly and the confidence to know that they can speak to those who are elected officials,” said Staengel.
This year, Murray State students were accompanied by six faculty mentors and claimed 11 of the presented posters.
Murray State attends not only as a participating school but as the host school for Posters-at-the-Capitol. The organizing institution coordinates year-round with the help of campus coordinators at each participating school.
“This type of presenting transforms the research process by taking these incredibly specialized fields of inquiry and encourages students to put them into real-world context,” said Assistant Professor and Scholarly Librarian Arthur J. Boston. “I would urge Murray State students, in particular, to apply for these reasons, but also I like for Racers to shine.”
Boston said undergraduate students should apply this October to present at the spring 2018 event.
All 11 posters will be displayed in Wrather Museum now through Friday, April 21. Those who visit are encouraged to take pictures and post them with the tag #ScholarsWeek and mention @murraystateuniv.
Boston said many students who now have a fresh perspective on their topic will continue research and submit a manuscript of their work to be published in an academic journal.
Murray State student posters have also been digitized and uploaded on Murray State’s Digital Commons at http://digitalcommons.murraystate.edu/postersatthecapitol/2017/Murray with each display listing student information, their abstract, mentor and school or department.